That’s Entertainment: HBO Show Portrays Sex With Statue of Liberty

Editor’s note:  This article contains graphic language and video that might offend some readers.

Huffington Post Live Host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin asked HBO’s “Silicon Valley” star Kumail Nanjiani on May 20 about any graphic comedy in his new show. Nanijani relayed a recent episode that was so graphic he had to warn his mother beforehand. As Nanijani told the story, even his mother got upset at him, saying he didn’t warn her enough for the image in the show. So what was so obscene, even for HBO? 

In the May 4 episode, “Signaling Risk,” a start-up company’s owners hire a Mexican graffiti artist, Chuy, to make a logo for their company. Chuy then mistakes their Pakistani IT guy, Dinesh, for Latino, and decides to paint a mural with Dinesh dressed as an Aztec warrior having sex with the Statue of Liberty from behind. 

The company owners are clearly repulsed by the image but are scared of offending Chuy and appearing racist. Chuy explains the mural as "the whole Latino struggle for justice in America.” One owner, Erlich, suggests “Maybe it’s a bit too graphic for the space.” Erlich tells Chuy to change it and saying “Don’t have him be fucking the literal symbol of freedom." 

The character who plays Dinesh, Kumail Nanjiani also was on NBC’s “Late Night With Seth Myers” that night to promote the season finale June 1. CBS’ “This Morning” interviewed the show’s creator on May 12.

The media has frequently fawned over HBO shows like “Game of Thrones” and Lena Dunham’s “Girls”, among others, while skimming over the graphic images and scenes in these shows. The White House even teamed up with an HBO star to do a parody of an HBO show

Kristine Marsh
Kristine Marsh
Kristine Marsh is a staff writer/analyst for the Media Research Center's Culture and Media Institute.